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Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Chris » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:37 pm

Yes please
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Jefferiot » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:59 pm

Chris wrote:Yes please

Soitenly. :mrgreen:

I'm thinking about only posting a single scene when it introduces kinds of administrative handling of a game that were not yet shown in the campaign. If no new kinds of administrative handling were shown, I may do more compression of scenes and post several scenes together.

I'll add a header to the posts. There are two bags of Cheetos per session. There were about 10 posts for the last session. I'll call each post a part, as per the following example.

Session 2, Bag 1, Part 1

With fresh luck points and 5 hours of rest to restore some of the magic points that Marvin had earlier spent, the game continued in a new session. They hadn't slept for the usual 2 magic points per hour, but rather only rested at the 5-hour feast for 1 magic point per hour. That meant that Marvin was only down 1 magic point from his full 16, but the two bags of Cheetos were somehow completely renewed for the session. Now did anyone expect that?

Everyone hung their cloaks over the trees outside the hall until it was quiet enough inside for a huddle on strategy over the noise of the amphibian love talk. Marvin, Tacitus, and Jake had discussed the situation quite a bit, when finally Saul could take no more, "The head of the snake is surely in the human area. We must cut the head off the snake to kill it. Just let me whack open this door I keep hearing endlessly about and get to it."

"The noise might bring in the demi-humans from the other door. Let me talk the door open," countered Marvin.

"They might have a way of alerting the demi-humans, anyway," complained Saul. "My way is better."

"I'm going to let Marvin try talking the north door open," then Tacitus assigned a few tacit command codes to various troops.

Tacitus joined Granger at the end of the hallway. Jake took the rest of the warband in column to the right side of the hallway 10 feet back from the door, with the troops in probable order of battle. Jake instructed them to move into position along the left side of the hall on tacit command.

Tacitus surveyed the situation at the end of the hallway with his tiny light source. The scenario didn't indicate the kind of doors, so the GM ruled them to be average dungeon doors with 4 armor points, 25 hit points, and no locks or bars. The scenario didn't say in which direction the doors open, so the GM ruled they open away from the hallway.

Tacitus quietly kicked a couple of wedges under the unwanted door, the one to the West. It might seem at first to your average inexperienced duneoneer that wedges should only work on the side to which the door swings, but the Classic Fantasy rule book clears this up for us. It doesn't matter in which direction the door swings for the wedge to work properly. Perhaps the reason is that it's harder to pull a door than to push it, such that the wedge slope being in the wrong direction equals out perfectly with the barbs on these these specially designed wedges.

Knock-knock, knocked Marvin.

"Who's there," called a guard through a door.

"Warrior," said Marvin.

"We're your who?"

"We're your escort to trial for aiding and abetting theft and murder."

"Repent and follow Lolth!"

"A wedge is being slid under the door," warned Granger.

"Do you really hate life so much that you'd rather die than help preserve life?" asked Marvin to the doorman rhetorically.

"My life for Lolth!"

"Who's Lolth?

"Doh! Doh! You making Lolth reeeeeeeeeely angry!"

While you're getting your sergeant, could we wait inside, please?"

"You're wasting my time with words."

"Sorry to waste your time, Zeally, but we have to do this, so any non-zealot can see who the good guy is in all this."

A half-minute later, there was a distant mumbling, according to Granger, who was on the floor by the door, furiously sniffing the crack with an oscillating nose, ears all a wriggle, and eyes aflutter. A minute later, "Sounds of approaching foot steps. Shapes of bipedal approach." A different voice called though the door this time. "State your business. Make it quick and accurate. You'll have no second chance to get your story straight."

"We're here to escort you to an official court of trial in the city of Dyvers for theft and murder."

"Repent and follow Lolth!"

Do you really hate life so much that you'd rather die than help preserve life?"

"My life for Lolth!"

"Who's Lolth?"

"Doh! Doh! You're making Lolth reeeeeeeeely angry!"

"Just making sure. While you're getting your lieutenant, may we wait inside?"

"You waste my time with words."

"Sorry to waste your time, Zealottery, but we have to do this, so any non-zealot can see who the good guy is in all this."

Tacitus said, "These guys might indeed be zealots," and making his passion roll, Tacitus heaved spastically and tears ran down his face. "I was afraid it would be like this. We might not be taking very many prisoners. Don't drink the Kool-Aid down here guys. The Underground sucks the value of life out of things. Still, some of their prisoners may have spent less time down here. Some may even be salvageable to a normal life back on the surface. We'll do what we can, right men?" Tacitus wiped a wet face with a huge John Wayne bandana.

"No, I've heard enough. My axe is almost completely dried out and my fingers miss a certain crunching feeling. I'm getting ahungered for monster gore. I feel quite at home down here, sir," said Saul with a wide grin and Tacitus vomited into his mouth in unnoticed disgust.

"I know what you mean about that crunching feeling," nodded Harold; and, Saul, Harold,and Mike were all nodding in unison like pendulum dolls in the back of a pimped Cadillac, pink tassels all asway. Strangely, their weapons were all pimped with pink tassels. Maybe they were once all white lanyards. Splatter changes many things.

The GM never ran a campaign with a loose crew like this before. "It's hard to get normal PC's these days," lamented he aloud.

Granger reported the sound and sparks of a rush of many hobnail boots crashing on stone and the larger shape of men in close formation had taken position. "I think the heat signature now confirms it's more of a 10-foot hallway than a full-on room." A new voice now worm tongued through the knothole. "This is Lieutenant Topfkopf. How dare you trespass in Fen of Lolth. Why I'll show you what happens to heretical upstarts. Now, I shall open the door to your doom. Nyah-ha-ha-ha!"

"This guy sounds like a pot head," muttered Mike. "Saint Cutbert clerics would never wear pots on our heads," contrasted he passionately.

"Lieutenant Topfkopf. I am Marvin the Magic-mouth, spokesman to Warband Tacitus, detective to the Mercantile Alliance for Free Trade, ambassador to Dyvers in Fen Hommlet, and an official inspector assistant general to the Saint Cutbert Federation of City-States. In these names, I must insist that you accompany Warband Tacitus to Dyvers to stand trial for aiding and abetting the thieves and murderers who are responsible for disappearing whole merchant caravans. Put down your arms, put up your hands, and open the door. Do it now. I warn you: Resisting arrest is futile and is punishable in Dyvers, by itself, apart from the other charges of theft and murder, and allows me to begin to use deadly force and you might get hurt or killed."

"I tried Saint Cutbert, but he talks too much. I like quiet gods. Lolth is easier on the ears. Repent and follow Lolth!"

"This is not a religious war. Worship who you like, but we must get to the bottom of the thefts and the murders. Even Lolth worshipers of few words can get a fair trial, if they have enough words to answer a few basic questions without dripping venom."

"I have no words for Saint Cutbert."

"What did Saint Cutbert ever do to him?" asked Tacitus, shaking his head.

"He's just a traitor to Saint Cutbert. I would never do that." bragged Mike. "That's why he has to die and not me, because I'm not evil and he is nothing like me."

"Well you're not good either," chided Saul. "Look, your mace is pimped with a pink tassel, just like mine."

"That's because your axe is so messy. I'm not a pimp. It was white, because I'm the good guy and you're not!" complained Mike. "It's unfair!" He started to take the pink tassel off of his mace. "Yuk. This knot is glued together with blood." He reached for his knife.

"Maybe he just hates the spoken word," lamented Marvin. "In that case, my magic mouth is useless here. Remember, this is just a lieutenant, so there must be a war captain someplace behind the scenes. I can't be sure what the war captain's view on words is yet. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get him to the door, but at least it sounds like I've managed to talk the door open." Indeed, no doors were harmed in the making of this scene. How many Classic Fantasy campaigns can make such a claim about the scene outside the first side room?

Granger reported that the two wedges were being extracted out from under the north door--the door that would still be trying to dry out the worm tongue venom still glistening in its knothole, if it were a mimic. What if it were one? That would explain why the lieutenant didn't bother to put a better peep hole in the door, if the door itself were one of his spies--but alas the GM's hands were tied by the scenario and he could do nothing quite so arbitrary or capricious, lamented he.
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Jefferiot » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:29 am

Session 2, Bag 1, Part 2

Granger then stood up and ducked away behind Tacitus, grabbing his crossbow from a buddy in the process. Marvin ducked to the right of the door and cast calm in order to calm down. Tacitus crouched behind his scutum in the north doorway as he commanded, "Spikes, shields, crossbows, oil, torches." Harold began to spike the west door. Mike and Jake added their lesser shields to help cover the north doorway. They crouched behind their shields too. The three crossbowmen, including Granger, kneeled behind the shields of the guys in front.

The scenario said the zealots wore black tunics with gold eyes embroidered on them, wore black cloaks, and that they were alert and fearless. They were supposed to hoot when they were attacked and while they were fighting. When they were losing, they were supposed to start howling. I took this to mean the temple guards are religious zealots, like the ones in the Kurast swamps of Diablo III. The zealots of Kurast preserved the fog of war by not making noise when the players didn't have intelligence about their nature, number, or position, so that's how I played them here in Lolth's Temple under the moathouse of Fen Lolth. No one in Warband Tacitus could see them, so neither did the zealots make any noise.

Then the north (right) door flew open to reveal a torch that illuminated them. It was apparently being held by someone behind the door just out of long sword reach, but all that the zealots could see were the shields of Tacitus, Mike, and Jake.

Classic Fantasy says a torch illuminates a 10-foot radius. So, it was clear that there were no zealots within 17 feet of the doorway (except for the one behind the door). Beyond that, no one could see anything. No, not even Granger could see, because Classic Fantasy says the heat from the zealot torch behind the door washes out his infravision.

So, Tacitus' player made his lore(strategy and tactics) roll, allowing him to predict the enemy also had a crouching shield wall in front of kneeling crossbowmen, which would be something of a stand-off.

"Surrender to Lolth" came a forceful command from more than 60 feet away down the hall, to judge by the sound of it. Mike could not resist betraying Saint Cutbert and Warband Tacitus to follow the evil ways of the foreign spider queen god of the Drow, Lolth. A couple of seconds later the traitor began to disarm. Shame on him. He has shamed Saint Cutbert too.

His willpower was 57 and his clerical oath was 62, so I let him resist the command with his clerical oath instead, but he failed anyway. It doesn't really say in Classical Fantasy that passion can be substituted for willpower in resisting a spell, but it does say in RuneQuest 6 that passion can be substituted for willpower, so the GM went with it.

In the mean time, Granger shot the enemy torch with his crossbow, winning a special effect and choosing disarm. The torch flew away down the hall a further meter, so that it was no longer illuminating peeping Taciteers. The former torch bearer shouted, "My life for Lolth!" and he started a low hooting, even though he had been demoted from torch bearer to doorman again. Please note: The cleric of Lolth could no longer see who to command and neither could the zealot crossbowmen further threaten peeping Taciteers.

Tacitus ordered, "Toss 40 feet," for a chance to see something more than nothing. Both grenadiers had 15 strength, so the torch could have been thrown up to 45 feet while the flask could have been thrown up to 42 feet. Tacitus figured the enemy shield wall would be around 50 feet away, so that their crossbowmen behind them could choose location within their 60 foot short range. In that case, then the oil fire (treated as a campfire with an illumination range 20 feet) should illuminate the enemy shield wall and the enemy crossbowmen.

Indeed, Crosby threw a flask of oil down the hall and it smashed into the floor near the left wall. 5 seconds later, after the oil would have spread out a bit and some of the fumes rise, Saul threw a torch to land on the floor near the left wall. Both throws were accurate and the torch didn't extinguish itself on impact, so the floor burst into flame 40 feet away from the Taciteers. Tacitus could see the enemy was deployed much as he had predicted.

The clerical command of Lolth only lasted 5 seconds. Then Mike remembered his own god, Saint Cutbert, forsaking Lolth, and rearmed. The zealots were supposed to shoot Mike while his shield was down, but they couldn't see him by the torch that was knocked away.

Suddenly the door closed.
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Chris » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:08 am

Neat, what fun, very tactical group.
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Jefferiot » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:08 pm

Chris wrote:Neat, what fun, very tactical group.

Yes, indeed. That's the way we like it. :geek:

Session 2, Bag 1, Part 3

Tacitus stuck an edge of his shield in the door jamb just in time to prevent it closing all the way, then tried to nudge the door back open, but it didn't go. There might have been a zealot wedge behind it again.

Then the door flew open again. The same torch was being held to illuminate them once again. The firewall was still there at 40 feet, but the zealot shieldwall was gone.

"Surrender to Lolth!" Tacitus couldn't resist the charms of Lolth. He forsook his mission to the merchants and the welfare of his warband, preferring to serve Lolth's evil mission. A few seconds later, Tacitus put down his spear and his scutum, stood up, and put his hands in the air as if paying homage. Harold had limbered his targe and it was helping Jake's pelta and Mike's kite cover Tacitus against crossbow bolts.

Tacitus' willpower was only 34, but surrendering to Lolth would put the lives in his warband at risk, so I let him resist with his passion(protect life) of 54. Then Tacitus' player wanted to just fold this passion into Tacitus' moral philosophy, saying they are really the same thing. I agreed. So, then I let Tacitus resist with his goodness of 54 and erase the other passion, but he wasn't good(altruistic) enough. He betrayed all he cares about, anyway.

Because Tacitus wasn't cooperating with their shield wards, they weren't able to cover him completely. One spread leg and both raised arms were still exposed. As the guy behind the door withdrew the torch, they could hear a few crossbows snap almost as one somewhere off in the darkness beyond the carpet of fire. They might have parried the shots, but the torch bearer had already withdrawn the torch, so they couldn't see the bolts. Three bolts struck the warding shields and one bolt missed Tacitus entirely. They were more than 60 feet away, so they couldn't choose location without a critical.

A few seconds later, the torch was extended very briefly for zealot sighting, but quickly retrieved as a few crossbows snapped, once again, almost as one, but without the torch light they couldn't see to parry. 3 bolt's hit Tacitus' left arm and 1 hit his right arm, but his scale armor absorbed the hits entirely.

Then, Tacitus remembered his mission to the merchants and the lives in his warband. He put his hands down, crouched, and started to rearm himself. "What happened?"

"You were paying homage to Lolth, sir," said Mike, "but I warded you and they messed up my beautiful shield of faith."

That's a little troublesome," said Tacitus. "Yea, I know. I paid the artist extra for the emblem of an extinguished dart."

"We need to see better. Harold, you're my best grenadier. Throw a flask of oil as far as you can." The flask flew 60 feet before it disappeared into the dark. "Now hit it with a torch." Harold waited 5 seconds for the oil to spread and fume, then threw and stepped back in cover without watching it fly. The torch missed the oil, flew over the shieldwall, and hit the cleric of Lolth in the right arm for 1 point of physical damage and 4 points of fire damage, but none of it got through his platemail armor. Then a crossbow bolt hit his leg, and another crossbow bolt missed, and a javelin missed. "So, there he is," mused Tacitus. "The culprit. The evil cleric of Lolth that made all of these zealots."

"That's a little troublesome," said the cleric. "I need them to see less well and so they shall," he bragged.

There are charts in Classic Fantasy based on the higher arch of thrown weapons that miss to show where the stray went. The GM rolled to see where the missing torch and the missing javelin stayed. There's a chart for D8 to show the direction of the stay and a 5 meant the torch strayed straight back. A roll on another table shows the distance by which it strayed. The rolls determined the same 5x5 foot square where the cleric happened to be standing. Then rolling under the size of the cleric meant the cleric was actually struck. The GM gave the flaming end of the torch a 50 percent chance of striking instead of the non-flaming end.

The GM did the same for the javelin, because it was also a thrown weapon and it struck the wall near the lieutenant's head.

Projectile weapon ammo has a flatter trajectory, however. A different process is described in Classic Fantasy for determining where strays go. I rolled for each square containing an enemy troop half his size, because they were kneeling behind shields, instead of standing. I did this for the squares with kneeling troops, front to back, that were on the line toward where the missing crossbow bolt was supposed to hit, in order to see who it actually hit. I did the same for the crossbow bolt that was supposed to hit a location that was covered by other troops. So, the missing bolt hit the back wall near the cleric's chest and the bolt that hit a location potentially covered by troops actually ended up hitting the platemail armor on the location, anyway, which was the left leg. The cleric's platemail armor easily turned the point and absorbed the impact of this too, of course.

They could shoot when the torch illuminated a target of opportunity by accident, because they were all delaying for targets of opportunity or had the ranged weapon specialization that lets them shoot without waiting for initiative rolls.

"Good throw, Harold, but what I really meant was hit the oil with a torch." So, Harold threw again and ducked back. The torch hit the oil as it was going out, but the oil had spread and fumed, so it ignited anyway. "There. That's a proper view." The oil fire was 7 feet in front of the zealot shieldwall.

Then everything went black.
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Icefield » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:35 pm

Please do. I enjoy your style and wit :)
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Jefferiot » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:03 pm

Icefield wrote:Please do. I enjoy your style and wit :)

My pleasure. :)

Session 2, Bag 1, Part 4

Tacitus had failed once again to resist Lolth's dubious charms with his goodness. Having betrayed mission and lives to serve the foreign spider god and having agreed to receive on himself the full darkness of Lolth, Tacitus was proving to be an asset to the doomsayer of the underground. Indeed, all of his men around him were in the darkness that Tacitus had become. All seemed to them as lost, when came the voice of victory in his right ear.

Marvin still had his calm buff up. Darkness hadn't made him lose heart to the negative emotion that pervades in the underground where evil has temples. Marvin had the presence of mind to notice that Tacitus seemed too quiet for a leader whose men were in the dark while in the middle of an action. So the GM let Marvin's player check Marvin's insight to realize Tacitus' present condition. "Tacitus, you're OK. You have only lost one of your many senses. Use the others, Tacitus. Think man. Outsmart this thing. Remember military history." and Marvin's player checked Marvin's influence at one grade easier for the insight. Therefore, I let Tacitus' player check his goodness, augmented his lore(military history), to take heart against the dark spirit of the place and remember a lesson of victory over darkness.



"We can beat these guys. Jake, take over the mission front. Granger and Marvin have spiritual strength. Let them take the focus of the cleric's spells off the rest of the group. If battle won't carry the day in such a narrow corridor, then smoke them out. Oil fire will start green swamp plants to smoking. Harold is your skirmish partner. When I step away you will quickly see again. I'll take up the rear guard 15 feet past the end of our column. Any demi-humans coming that way will think I'm a warlock casting darkness against their infravision and they will flee. We are winning!"

"Aye-aye, Captain. Shields up. Get ready men. We are about to see and be seen." Suddenly, something strafed all four shields in the darkness and there was the sound of hobnail boots on stone running off.

"Make clear the way back along the south wall. I'm bringing a weapon of darkness through. It will get dark and then light again. It is to block demi-human infravision from seeing us from behind." The GM had let Tacitus roll his oratory per Ships and Shield Walls to rally his men's morale with the favorable aspects of events. So Tacitus felt his way along the south wall to take up the rear guard.

Then suddenly they could see a good part of a hallway forward.
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Jefferiot » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:05 am

Session 2, Bag 1, Part 5

The two oil fires still illuminated the hallway between 20 and 80 feet out. The torch glow behind the door was conspicuously absent. Saul had added his targe to the kite, the pelta, and the other targe covering the doorway.

The Taciteers could hear tattle-telling somewhere off in the distant non-magical darkness, so Marvin got to check his perception augmented by his insight. "Jake. Zeally the Doorman is telling Sergeant Zealottery some of what he heard me say to Tacitus the Tank and maybe some of what Tacitus told you and the rest of the Taciteers. If the part about smoking them out makes it intelligibly through Lieutenant Topfkopf's echoey pot, wouldn't he now order a charge to fight us while they are still not choking and hacking their pots off?" posed Marvin.

"You're assuming they don't have a back way out, Marvin," cautioned Jake.

"This is their back way out," objected Marvin. "The only reason it wasn't guarded was that it was in the middle of a foggy, froggy, foul night when no one normal would risk fen walking to no where no sentinel could see, hear, or smell anyway."

"Maybe we are just abnormal enough to work irregardless with the assumption that they have no further back way out and just plan for what they'd do accordingly," called Jake.

"Abnormal assumption is all that's possible," saw Marvin, "because search or sentinel, either ploy, is already defeated by foggy, froggy, foul night," raised he.

"That's not entirely true," showed Granger as if winning the pot with the sublime assurance of a high mileage card cheat. "I could confirm it."

"How much time do you need?" strained Jake as if trying to spot the marks on the cards.

"I think 20 minutes or an hour at the outside," came Granger's well metered oily words of effortless poker-faced bluff.

"That's not too long during a normal siege situation, but this is more of a stand-off. Still, it could become quite useful to know this, if the situation develops in a certain way. What else do you need for the mission?"

"Well, if you can spare my friends, we'll get it done even quicker."

"Very well. Report back within the hour," ordered Jake. Marvin and Crosby relieved the Three Crossbateers to go take on their new mission. "Crosby. The zealots are all wearing scale, chainmail, or platemail. Do you have any of those metal core bolts?"

"Affirmative, sir. I have 10."

"Awesome. Load one and get the rest of them ready."

"Marvin, go get Tacitus' scutum and bring all of the crossbowmen from Beta Squad."

Marvin found Tacitus skulking in the outer darkness and explained, "I'm cleric-bait. I need what the zealots saw you wearing."

Tacitus gave Marvin his helmet, spear, scutum, and cloak and took Marvin's staff and sling. "I will somehow manage to defend the rear from the gorgon sisters with only your staff and your sling," assured Tacitus. "Don't worry about me. I'm a pro. This darkness is to my advantage for fighting the likes of a Medusa, a basilisk, or a cockatrice. Who needs a shield when one is a double-blind study? Marvin, are you still there? OK, I'll shut-up now so I can hear any enemies. Ho hum. There's no one to boss around back here. This is boring. La-la! Am I shutting up yet? Oh wait. Don't answer that. My ears still work. I already know that one. I'm not shutting up yet. Hmm. Well, I'll do that now."


"Who said that?"


"Why, I'll . . . "


"Oh nevermind."

On his way back, Marvin said, "Crossbows," and several men from Beta squad, all with crossbows, followed Marvin forward. They were so eager by this time that he was lucky not to get a flat tire what with them following so closely, breathing down his neck, and all. Has the discerning reader ever noticed that the occasional NPC can be a tad obnoxious? Or was the narrator conflating the overeager NPC with the odious PC? Sigh. There's so many tropes in classic fantasy, it's hard for the aspiring narrator to keep them all straight.

"Men. We're going to run up near the enemy, while warding as best we may, crouched behind our shields. When we arrive within the short javelin range to the back wall of the hallway, we shall form up, the shields to the fore and the shooters to the aft. While on the way, as we reach the first oil fire, we'll skirt the end of it to the right, partly in column, then form up, 5 feet in back of the second oil fire, ready to shoot at the platemail helmet of the cleric when either Marvin or I say 'shoot.' Marvin will be the acting captain, calling out all of the commands of this maneuver as we go. Just act like Marvin is Tacitus. If you're convincing, Marvin will more likely divert any and all dubious attention for himself."

"Ehrm, yes sir. Is Marvin going to talk the crossbow bolts into missing him?"

"No, he'll have Tacitus' scutum. Show him how to carry it." And so the Taciteers helped The Magic Mouth dress for the unrehearsed ad-lib premier stage show impersonating Tacitus to zealous fans everywhere.
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Jefferiot » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:25 am

Session 2, Bag 1, Part 6

"Crosby, give to each crossbowman two of your metal core bolts which each crossbowman is to load immediately. Saul, go get the Beta Squad javelineer for me."

"Crossbowmen shall run at a crouch behind someone with a shield, carrying their limbered and loaded crossbows. After you have formed up, get ready to rise and shoot in one motion, but don't rise up or shoot until you hear 'shoot.' This is to hide our intended target from the cleric until we all do it quickly at once. The cleric may be careless if he is in the middle of casting a spell at Marvin and too trusting in his armor. The ruse is a special kind of ambush that needs the same level of coordination as normal ambushes. Got it?"

Then Jake assigned every man his position in the formation. The rank and file order determined the column order too. Marvin discretely cast shield, before stepping out, crouched behind Tacitus' scutum, which he was using to ward like a pro. He began his walk to within 20 feet of the first oil fire to become the primary target, per his assignment from Jake. As he walked, Marvin called out in his imitation of Tacitus' voice, "Column order, right wall, double-time." When the front man in the column was just past the first oil fire, "Column lead veer left."

"Surrender to Lolth!" came the hollow voice from the end of the hall again. Marvin barely managed to resist the command of Lolth, even though his willpower was 72 and was augmented by his good(altruism) of 63. The GM had let Marvin use his moral philosophy to augment his willpower, because Marvin was acting sacrificially to save lives in Warband Tacitus by being the lure for dubious attention. His resistance to Lolth sorely surprised the evil cleric and irked and disgusted him to no end as he became bent on showing up the leader for the spiritual weakling that he knew him to be. Meanwhile, the zealot crossbowmen still didn't have the target for which they had been told to wait.

When the defenders for the front row of the Mission Task Force formation were past the first oil fire, Marvin ordered, "Shield row cover. Column form up." The column formed up in ranks behind the shields, as they passed the first fire. When all of the ranks were formed up, "Back ranks squat." When they were squatting, "Front rank squat."

The defenders at the front of the formation were low on one foot, that knee well bent, with the other knee on the ground with that leg stretched out way behind to put forward the direction of balance and of power for their primary arm to stretch way out in front to resist zealot strikes, while the secondary arm warded the head to cover the eye holes of their helmets. Successive rows held missile weapons low and out of sight, while also squatting low, but with their balance neutral for rising quickly to shoot.

Meanwhile, the evil cleric had been casting yet another spell at pseudo-Tacitus, in an arcane language and with a hollow voice that boomed and reverberated throughout all of the many hallways. Marvin recognized the words to mean, "Let there be darkness in man." The evil cleric actually fumbled the casting, though, so lost 1 magic point and darkness was expunged from his memory. Maybe all the echoes confused Lolth. The evil cleric couldn't comprehend how Tacitus had suddenly become so spiritually strong and committed to good. Little did he know, he wasn't facing Tacitus at all, but he was just beginning to face the ever wily Marvin the Magic Mouth, up close and in person, and not that spiritual weakling skulking in the back in the darkness that he had become.

Crosby's aim was augmented by his love of bringing murderer's to justice found in his moral philosophy of his good(lawful)-ness, so he managed to hit the cleric's head, but the helmet easily turned the glancing heavy bolt into the wall. All of the level 0 crossbowmen hit the evil cleric, too, doing 3, 2, and 1 damage points through the cleric's 7 point helm, thanks to the bolts having a metal core that ignored 3 of the helmet's armor points for their penetration of it. This still wasn't a serious wound for the evil cleric, as he was a big and hardy fellow, even if not jolly at all. Jake's javelin missed but the Beta Squad javelineer hit the cleric in the head. Unfortunately, the helmet turned the point and the bolt veered and struck the wall.

The evil cleric was still standing until the evil cleric realized that he was still standing like an idiot and so stopped standing like an idiot and crouched behind the cover of his own troops that were not standing like his idiot self. "That's quite a bit more troublesome than the trouble last time there was trouble," troubled he. At least I have the weaklings outnumbered 23 to 10, thought he, but then Marvin made his insight roll and commanded, "All hail!" to which all of the troops in this hallway hailed Marvin, "Hail Tacitus!" and all of the troops in the other hallway came into this hallway and hailed Marvin, "Hail Tacitus!" Only Tacitus was missing from this hallway at this point, but for good reason.

When the evil cleric saw that the odds were really about 23 to 18, Marvin called out, "Surrender, or else you'll die here and now!"

The evil cleric knew that if he got hit in the head again, he could be incapacitated or killed and he knew what kind of bolts Tacitus must be using, but he decided to trust his luck. After all, he did still have 6 luck points, 8 magic points, and all 22 of his men's lives still to spend, so he wasn't quite ready to contemplate surrendering. "You waste my time with words!"

"Have it your way!" Marvin threw off Tacitus' helmet. "Beta Squad, follow me!" and Marvin ran around the first oil fire, while crouching behind Tacitus' shield and ordering, "Shoot the cleric's head."

The evil cleric wondered, "What's Tacitus up to now?" so while Marvin and Beta Squad charged the zealot formation, the evil cleric ordered, "All arise and brace," and all of his zealots stood up, raised their shields, and braced to recieve a charge, while the evil cleric skulked away, crawling around the corner, where he could neither anymore be seen nor targeted by Warband Tacitus.

Marvin continued running up to Mission Task Force's formation, yelling, "All melee," and the crossbowmen dropped their crossbows and readied their shields and side arms. When Marvin neared the shield wall, "Make way," and on arriving to the firewall, Marvin transferred Tacitus' spear into his shield hand and bashed over the fire with Tacitus' shield. As the flames fanned high, he cast colour cascade at intensity 6. Then he commanded, "Mission Task Force, run through to engage the high command!" 5 of the zealots were staggering, nonreactive, and helpless as Mission Task Force ran at them. A second later, Marvin cast colour cascade, again, at intensity 4, this time, stunning 3 more zealots. Mission Task Force knocked them sprawling, supine or prone, as they ran through the disrupted zealot formation. "Beta Squad engage any zealot rank and file still standing!"

Marvin joined the fray too, engaging a crossbowman, who shot him in the spear arm, penetrating his shield, and drawing blood for one point, causing the magic-mouthed one his first battle wound, ever, but he remained calm.

3 of Mission Task Force peeled off to engage the 3 sergeants at the back wall of the hallway, while 7 turned the corner, where they saw a 20-foot wide room.
Who to be or not to be. That is the question. --Jeffspeare
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Re: Administrative Review of Elemental Classic Fantasy

Postby Jefferiot » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:30 pm

Session 2, Bag 1, Part 7

The evil cleric looked up after casting cure minor wounds on himself to see that Mission Task Force Tacitus had blitzkrieged his hallway unit of 11 zealots, including his 3 best men, in scant seconds. "How did he do that," the evil cleric wondered. "That Tacitus may be part demon," he thought.

7 of 10 of the Mission Task Force made their athletics rolls to push over the stunned zealots and made it posthaste to the anteroom without interference from the 3 sergeants, but the 3 of Mission Task Force that tripped over the stunned zealots were immediately engaged by the three sergeants. In this way, Harold, Saul, and Mike were left behind to deal with the 3 sergeants that were lording over their prostration.

Meanwhile 5 of the Taciteers from Beta Squad tied up the 8 stunned and toppled zealots. The short ropes that had been prepared at the feast with slip knots that cinch together with one pull made it possible for one man to bind one prisoner per melee round. They had them all bound in 2 rounds. Beta squad then had 4 more short spears, 4 more light crossbows, 8 more longswords, and 8 more targes available for their use.

The anteroom was well lit by a half dozen wall sconce oil lamps made of glass, each with a shaped bottom that refracted a concentration of the light to a spot where one might hold a scroll while reading on any of the six overstuffed black leather love seats. Isn't it the narrator's job to distract everyone with details so that the big picture has time to get nice and dangerous? The narrator was sure that was a trope in classic fantasy. Maybe not. The GM didn't actually start the description with that. I know--I'm being a bad, bad, bad narrator. I've been bad, but the GM actually started the description of the room with the following.

"There are 10 servants standing in the room, each dressed in a black cloak and tunic. The tunic is embroidered with the emblem of a gold eye. Each of 8 of the servants is holding one of the crossbows that had just snapped off a bolt that has been flying toward the Taciteers for the past 170 milliseconds while you registered the room in your mind's eye." said the GM. "What do you do?"

"We slow to a walk so we can use close combat techniques to deal with these jokers."

"Too late, Taciteers. The bolts already hit or missed you and the time for your reactions has passed." Fortunately for the Taciteers, they had been running while crouched behind their shields or crouched behind someone who had a shield, so mainly only their helmets were exposed to the missiles. This made it virtually necessary for the zealots to use the choose location special effect instead of impale or something else. Their attacks at running Taciteers were hard, of course, but 1 bolt bounced off the helmet of a PC and another struck down a Beta Squad crossbowman with a serious wound to the head, anyway. The latter was to be unconscious for 6 minutes.

One of the zealots who missed actually twisted his ankle between the stones in the floor, while shooting, taking 2 damage to his right leg. Yes: It was a fumble. So, the targeted Taciteer got to choose a special effect, even though he hadn't parried, choosing accidental injury. This special effect doesn't say how much damage is done to the attacker, so the GM just assumed it's the 1D3 of unarmed damage, ignoring armor, of course.

The 8 zealots with the crossbows then raised up their crossbows as if they were 2-handed mauls with which to attack and parry (medium size, short reach, 1D6 damage points) to try to bar the way of the blitzkrieging Taciteers to the high command that sheltered behind them. That would have been a 1 to 2 odds melee in the anteroom, so Marvin bought some time by warning the evil priest again, "Surrender or die."

The evil priest couldn't comprehend how Tacitus had stayed so close on his heels despite a whole unit of zealots standing in his way just seconds before. The evil priest was truly worried about him blitzkrieging the second unit just as fast. He could only hear his 3 sergeants howling, so the other 8 zealots under them must have fallen so fast that they never had a chance to hoot or howl. He was sorely tempted to surrender, but he persevered until he could get a better idea of just what had happened to the missing zealots. "What did you do to my men?"

"Don't worry," said pseudo-Tacitus. "They are already on their way to getting a fair trial, but you haven't surrendered, so you are about to die."

"How did you . . . ?"

"The gods are with us," smiled pseudo-Tacitus.

"I have 2 to 1 odds on you, Tacitus. It is you who should surrender to me."

"You waste my time with words," said pseudo-Tacitus, raising his hand as if preparing to signal engagement.

Meanwhile, back in the hallway behind, all three of the sergeants had lost the initiative to The Three Taciteers. Harold struck a sergeant from the ground, but even though the sergeant parried, 7 of the damage got through the zealot targe, where the zealot's armor proficiency with his heavy chainmail stopped the damage cold. The weight of the sergeant barely resisted going air born over the withering blow from below, but he was knocked back 3 feet, anyway, and then he tripped over one of his stunned comrades, becoming prone also.

Saul and Mike missed, then 2 sergeants missed their attacks. The third sergeant hit, but Mike's shield was warding his left arm.

Harold criticaled from the ground, but sergeant 1 parried from the ground, so Harold selected arise as the sergeant went skittering across the floor 6 feet to bounce spinning off the wall. "Racket ball, anyone?"

Saul swung from the ground and hit, but sergeant 2 parried, so only half the damage got through the shield, which was 9, of which 2 got through the sergeants armor proficiency of 2 with chainmail (5+2) to to inflict 2 on his left arm. Sergeant 2 didn't fly up into the air over the withering blow, either, but was still knocked back 6 feet, as he skittered along the wall into the corner, barely managing to remain on his feet.

Mike bashed from the ground, hitting sergeant 3 who failed to parry, catching him off balance, stumbling him back 6 feet toward the corner to bounce off sergeant 2, and causing them both to fall prone.

Everyone in that melee was fighting from the ground, then, except Harold. Sergeants 1, 2, and 3 missed their attacks.

Harold hit sergeant 1 who had no remaining action points, so pressed the advantage as sergeant 1 skittered along the floor 3 feet to bounce off the other 2 sergeants in the corner, while enduring 7 damage to his right leg. The pain of the serious wound was to distract the beleaguered zealot for 3 turns, which made the just won pressed advantage moot.

Saul swung from the ground to hit sergeant 2 who was out of action points. 6 to the head would have been a serious wound, but the zealot yelled, "Lolth!" and the spider queen coalesced in a corner of the room. The ghost shot a web at Saul's great axe, diverting the blow away from the head until it hit the warding shield over the left arm. Saul realized that something spooky had just happened, but Saul's player knew exactly what had just happened. The GM had called for Saul's player to re-roll the hit location. In any case, Saul had won the space to arise safely.

Mike critically bashed with his shield from the ground. Sergeant 3 was out of action points, so Mike selected disarm for his second special effect and the zealot's morningstar flew 3 feet one way and the sergeant flew 3 feet the other way on to the top of the pile of sergeants in the corner.

The GM ruled that the stack of sergeants in the corner were so hopelessly crowded together that they were barely anymore able to move their weapons. The GM ruled it would be very easy to pin them in the corner with a couple of shields while a third tied them up. Even so, one of the sergeants did manage to struggle free. So one of the sergeants had managed to transfer himself out of the care of the 3 guys right at the corner to another set of 2 guys from Beta Squad somewhat less near the corner. The latter had a lot of practice tying zealots up by that time. So, the sergeants were all tied up by the end of the third round of the melee. The sergeants and all 11 of the prisoners were to be transferred to the outer hallway, to be completed within the minute, where 3 of the Beta Squaders would stand guard over them. Meanwhile, 5 of the Taciteers from the hallway joined Marvin in the anteroom, improving the odds in there.
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